Smart, Globe services in VisMin ‘interrupted’

The telcos say networks are disrupted due to super Typhoon Yolanda. Five hard-hit areas can no longer be reached via cell phone or landline.

COMM LINES DOWN. Telcos say they will deploy teams to repair network facilities damaged by super typhoon Yolanda as soon as deemed safe. AFP PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines – Telecommunication giants Smart Communications Inc and Globe Telecom Inc reported disruptions in their networks in the Visayas and Mindanao regions as super Typhoon Yolanda raged.

Yolanda (international codename Haiyan), the world’s strongest typhoon this year, made several landfalls on Friday, November 8, packing maximum sustained winds of 215 kilometers per hour and gusts of up to 250 km/h.

The typhoon battered the Visayas, southern Luzon and northeastern Mindanao, bringing down power and communication lines.

Manuel V. Pangilinan-led Smart said in a report to the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) that its mobile services have been “degraded or interrupted” in the Visayas, particularly Eastern Samar, some areas in Leyte including Tacloban and Ormoc, and parts of northern Cebu.

The firm prepositioned engineering personnel to fix network facilities, but is waiting for the storm to pass before starting deployment.

Ayala-led Globe said the super typhoon caused “minimal disruption” to its network operations in these areas:

In Visayas, 

  • Biliran
  • Cebu
  • Eastern Samar
  • Leyte
  • Northern Samar
  • Southern Leyte
  • Western Samar
  • Iloilo

In Mindanao,

  • Camiguin
  • Dinagat Islands
  • Surigao del Norte

Globe chief technical adviser Robert Tan said that as of 12 noon Friday, only about 20% of Globe’s network in the Visayas region “has been adversely affected by the super typhoon.”

“The typhoon also caused disruption in about 6% of its network in the Mindanao area,” he added.

Text, call and data services will be restored once it is safe for Globe’s technical team to conduct repairs, the company said.

Rappler reported earlier that 5 areas in Region VII could not be reached via cellular phone or landline: Eastern Samar; Palo and Tacloban in Leyte; Pacific and Panaon in Southern Leyte; and Biliran.

Rappler had asked Smart and Globe for updates on how much longer it would take them to begin network repairs. Both have yet to respond. – Rappler.com